Wednesday, March 15, 2006

ANWR and Crafts.

Okay, Democrats. We have two urgent things we must discuss.

Thing the first: Call your Senators and tell them to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and take real action toward achieving energy independence. Do it now, and if you need a reason why, just remember that sustainability, increased efficiency, and a reduction in emissions ARE possible. Here are five good, workable ideas from Senator Kerry himself (and I'll put them all in red to match the tie he wore today:

More than 20 states have implemented market-based Renewable Energy Portfolio programs that require utilities to gradually increase the portion of electricity produced from renewable resources such as wind, biomass, geothermal, and solar energy. We should build on that success at the national level. Tell your Senators to enact a nationwide Renewable Portfolio Standard so that 20% of our energy comes from renewable sources by 2020. A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that implementing this policy would save $26.6 billion and that commercial and industrial customers would be the biggest winners.

We have the ability to transform our transportation sector from one that fuels our addiction to one that drives us toward a sustainable future. The President should build on that demand and fuel new production opportunities by supporting a mandate that agriculture will provide 20% of the total energy consumed in the United States by 2020.

In addition to developing new sources of energy, we must make better use of available energy. New technological advances in appliances, energy grid systems, and buildings can boost productivity, create jobs, improve the reliability and safety of the energy infrastructure, and make dramatic inroads in reducing air pollution. Congress should enact energy efficiency measures to decrease energy use by 20% by 2020.

The government should provide an aggressive set of tax incentives and grants for consumers and for industries that are retooling plants to promote the manufacturing and purchase of hybrid vehicles, which run on a combination of gas and electric power to sharply increase efficiency. Twenty percent of all passenger cars and trucks on the road should be high-efficiency, low emissions hybrids by 2020.

Today, America spends more than $500,000 per minute on foreign oil or $30 million per hour. We paid more than $42 billion for Persian Gulf imports alone in 2005. It is bad enough that these dollars will not help grow our domestic economy -- it is even worse when you consider their impact on our national security. Congress should act to eliminate America's oil imports from the Middle East by 2020.

Thing the second: Can someone tell me this: does THK knit, or was she speaking hypothetically when quoted in the New York Daily News today? I read somewhere that she makes really good scones, so I can't rule out the possibility that she's also a stitcher - or would be, if she weren't busy with politics.

I almost hope she's not, to be honest. For one thing, she already exists in my head at maximum levels of cool, so if I found out she did crafts, my mind would be officially blown. For another, I have a very nice, West Coast, crafts-and-snacks existence, and yet I might feel compelled to move cross-country to our nation's capital JUST in hopes of joining that Stitch 'n' Bitch.

Oh, crap. That reminds me. I lied, I need to bring up three things. Thing the third is Senator Kerry's involvement in the Democratic Small Business Health Care Bill. Sometimes I get so caught up in my comfortable crafts-and-snacks existence that I forget the only reason I, a small business owner, have health insurance is that I'm married.


So, redundant as it might seem for somebody posting to the We Love John Kerry blog to say, "Well done, Senator!" I still have to say: Well done, Senator! May you be rewarded with scones of all varieties and as many scarves as your neck desires.


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